30 July to 15 August 2021.
(Click maps for a larger size if they are too small to see).
Jools and I are planning to fly north to North Queensland for a couple of weeks. This would be quite a change from the currently cold climate of Canberra.
Current Queensland border closures.
However, it all depends of COVID restrictions and border closures. Australia is pretty much closed to the outside world so we can’t leave the country and there are also restrictions for internal travel. Queensland currently has closed its borders to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia but not the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra). New South Wales is experiencing an explosion of the COVID Delta variant (by Australian Standards at least, 172 new cases yesterday), whereas Canberra hasn’t had a locally spread case for over a year. We just have to hope that the borders will stay open for us at least for the next three days until our planned departure date.
We are intending to fly north to Brisbane, stay with friends for a few days, then fly to Cairns.
Edit: We got to Brisbane and then were caught in a snap 7-day lockdown. Towards the end of that, Jools had already gone back and I was contemplating going on despite a 3-day North Queensland lockdown when I received an email from the ACT Government warning against further travel. So I came back as well. I was concerned I might have to come back to hotel quarantine. ACT is now in lockdown so we’re now in lockdown there.
Hopefully we’ll be able to do the trip at a later date, perhaps next year.
From Cairns, we drive south to the Atherton Tablelands, staying in rainforest for several days near Lake Eacham and Craters Lakes National Park. We expect to visit Cathedral Fig Tree, Lakes Eacham and Barrine, Yungaburra, Curtain Fig National Park, Atherton, Hasties Swamp National Park (bird hide), Herberton, Mt Hypipamee National Park, Ravenshoe, Tully Gorge Lookout and Millaa Millaa waterfalls. Wildlife we hope to encounter includes striped possums, platypodes (the correct plural of platypus since the word derives from Greek not Latin) and tree kangaroos.
We then drive to Laura where we stay overnight and join two tours of Aboriginal rock art the next day. We next drive to Cooktown where we stay for several days and join another Aboriginal rock art tour on the last morning.
After Cooktown, we drive to Daintree National Park, where we stay for a few days. The rainforest here comes down to the sea and we may encounter a cassowary. Then we drive down to Kuranda, in the hills near Cairns and stay overnight. The next day we drive back down the hill then take a cablecar back up to Kuranda and come down again in a small train. From there we drive to Mossman Gorge, stay near there overnight and explore the gorge the next day. Then we drive to Daintree Village where we stay overnight. Early the next morning we have a photographic tour on Daintree river, then drive down to Cairns airport to catch our plane back to Canberra.
I am planning to take both Nikon and Fuji photographic equipment.
I will have a Nikon D850 and a 300mm f2.8 plus 1.4x and 2x teleconverters as my prime telephoto equipment for wildlife.
To reduce weight and also carry a larger range of equipment, I will also have a Fuji X-T2, X-E4 and X-E2 IR cameras, together with 4mm fisheye, 8mm fisheye, 8-16mm, 23mm, 27mm, 35mm, 56mm, 80mm macro and 70-300mm lenses and a 1.4x TC. (I could perhaps leave the 23mm and 35mm behind but they’re fairly small and light.) Jools will have an X-E4 and a 18-135mm lens and will be able to borrow the 70-300mm when I am using the Nikon 300mm.
Next will be a technical post on setting up the new X-E4 but there may be no posts after that for two or three weeks.